Links for 2012-03-02

  • UPDATED X 6: YOU’RE RUINING NATHAN FILLION FOR ME, NATHAN FILLION. Alternate title: But I forgive you. —

    Conversation with my friend, Maile… me: Sooo…Nathan Fillion is making me doubt my own existence. Maile: Um…what? me: I’ve been asking him for a picture of himself holding twine for almost a year now, and he refuses to acknowledge me or the thousands of other people asking for twine pictures. Maile: Why exactly are thousands of people asking him for twine pictures? me: It’s sort of a long story.

  • Patriarchy, modesty and training up children: Who are the babies? « Biblical Personhood

    To recap, in patriarchy: Babies – should be taught self-control. To not act on what they see. If what they see (i.e. Mom’s glass vase) causes them problems, they should be taught to simply not act on their urges. Nothing should be hidden to protect them from stumbling. Adult men – should be protected from seeing things that makes them stumble. If what they see (i.e. the female shoulder or knee) cause them problems, it should be hidden from them. Nobody expect that their self-control has to protect them from stumbling. There is something seriously wrong with a system where babies have to be punished if they don’t act right, and the world has to be adult-male proofed to not tempt them. In a sane world adults are punished for not acting right, and houses are baby-proofed.

  • Teller Reveals His Secrets | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine

    In the last half decade, magic–normally deemed entertainment fit only for children and tourists in Las Vegas–has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world. Even I–not exactly renowned as a public speaker–have been invited to address conferences on neuroscience and perception. I asked a scientist friend (whose identity I must protect) why the sudden interest. He replied that those who fund science research find magicians “sexier than lab rats.” I’m all for helping science. But after I share what I know, my neuroscientist friends thank me by showing me eye-tracking and MRI equipment, and promising that someday such machinery will help make me a better magician. I have my doubts. Neuroscientists are novices at deception. Magicians have done controlled testing in human perception for thousands of years.

  • Times Higher Education – An academic career? I’m not sure I fancy it

    The proportion of doctoral students who find academic jobs is greater than the proportion with a definite aspiration to do so – except in the arts and humanities. This is the surprising finding of a major survey of PhD students’ career aspirations carried out by Vitae, the research careers organisation. The online survey, carried out in 2010, attracted more than 4,500 responses from doctoral researchers across 130 UK universities and research institutes. An overwhelming majority of respondents had entered doctoral study for reasons of intellectual curiosity, and only about a third had formed definite career plans, even by the latter years of their doctorates. Physical science and engineering students were particularly unlikely to have definite plans, while those from the humanities were the most likely.

  • Notes From The Geek Show: How to Write a Sentence

    So I’ve thought for a while that maybe I should turn all that work into some sort of Sentence Writing 101 post for the blog, but of course, I can’t exactly use a client’s text even anonymously. What to do, then? What to do? It’s actually kind of hard to deliberately write a sentence that’s fucked up in all the ways I need for such a demo. But fear ye not. A flash of inspiration hit me, I had a quick shufty online, and came up with this prime example from Jim Theiss’s seminal 1970 novel, The Eye of Argon:

  • Grand Ayatollah or Grand Old Party? – By Reza Aslan | Foreign Policy

    One is a religious fanatic railing against secularism, the role of women in the workplace, and the evils of higher education, as he seeks to impose his draconian moral values upon the state. The other is the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Despite his losses on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the Arizona and Michigan primaries, former Sen. Rick Santorum is plowing ahead with his campaign to be president of the United States. Given that he lost by only 3 percentage points to Mitt Romney in the former governor’s home state, it is safe to say that the GOP contest is far from over. As we move ahead to Super Tuesday — March 6 — and what could be the deciding factor in this overlong primary season, Santorum still has one last chance to pull off an upset. If that happens, the former senator from Pennsylvania may finally get his chance to bomb Iran, as he has promised to do. But before that happens, let us pause for a moment and